Damarius initially came into foster care at the age of five. He was frequently in and out of the foster care system. There was no food in his house. Damarius focused day by day on how to get by for himself. His mom was using drugs and had Damarius involved in selling drugs for her.
One night, Damarius' older brother came to the house to take Damarius because he was scared. Damarius' mom had a meltdown and tased Damarius. Damarius came back into foster care at this point. Eventually, Damarius became in the permanent custody of the state, meaning he had no legal guardian, the state is his guardian and he would be in foster care for the foreseeable future.
In high school, Damarius was appointed an advocate named Coy. They immediately bonded. Having a male role model there for him, someone who cared about him and wanted to see him live up to his full potential, greatly impacted Damarius' morale and the trajectory of his life.
Coy advocated for Damarius in numerous ways. One of the most crucial ways was with his education. Within one school year, Damarius was moved to five high schools. This made it hard and nearly impossible to make progress in his classes. Damarius was falling behind. He also struggled to make friends at school with such frequent moves.
Damarius made it clear to Coy that he just wanted to graduate high school and go to college. Coy brought this to the judge and asked her to order Damarius not to move high schools anymore. The judge granted this request so that regardless of if Damarius' home placement changed, Damarius would stay at his current school.
Damarius caught up in his classes and graduated high school. His advocate Coy was there to see him walk the stage. It was a proud and emotional moment for both of them. Damarius enrolled in college at Sam Houston State University with aspirations to become a judge and be involved in the child welfare system that he was a part of.
Unfortunately, Damarius’ brothers did not have the benefit of having an advocate while they were in foster care. His brothers aged out of the foster care system and were incarcerated.
Learn about becoming an advocate here.